Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mainly Dry Thursday, Rain for the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As we’ve mentioned all week, we’re back to highs in the 80°s for the rest of the work week and you’ve likely felt the slow climb in the afternoon humidity.  We think you’ll really feel the humidity on Thursday afternoon, with dew points expected to be back in the 60°s thanks to the southerly flow.

Plan on a mostly cloudy Thursday, but it stays mainly dry (a spotty shower is not out of the question) through the day.

We’re still watching the evolution of our next rainmaker over the Southern Plains.  As expected, a surface low is getting better defined as it spins near the Texas Panhandle.  It will slowly track east-northeast over the coming days, with a trailing cold front extending to the southwest of the low into Texas.  While that front will be slow to get into our area, the atmosphere will become increasingly moist and unstable well ahead of the front.  Add in a series of west-to-east traveling disturbances at the mid/upper levels, and we’ve got the set-up for rains long before the front moves through.

Yesterday we were talking about a 40% to 50% rain chance by Friday afternoon -- as of this afternoon, we’re now thinking 60% to even 70% may be a better estimate for Friday afternoon and evening.  What’s more, we’re tossing in a token chance of rain (say, 20%) for Friday morning -- not what our “9 News This Morning” crew wants to hear as they get ready to set-up shop in French Settlement for their Friday Road Show!

The current timing for the advancing cold front still has it over far northern and western Louisiana on Saturday morning with a second low along the boundary finally approaching the WAFB viewing area late in the day.  Hopefully the front continues to the east and southeast and moves out over the northern Gulf during the early morning hours on Sunday.  

As we noted yesterday, the NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) also has a second, reinforcing Canadian front sliding through the area during the day on Sunday.  We’re keeping a 30% rain chance in the forecast for Sunday morning, but still counting on some afternoon improvements to salvage the latter half of Mother’s Day.

In the extended outlook, the first half of next week -- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday -- looks dry, with highs each day in the 80°s.

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